Ayade Defends Administration, Says Payment Of Salaries, Pension Major Achievements
Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade has justified his administration’s focus on payment of salaries and gratuities as grand achievements of any governor in the country.
Speaking on Arise TV on his 8 years of stewardship on Wednesday, Ayade said Cross River State being regarded as a civil servant state should be commended for not owing salaries and gratuities.
He said what the state pays monthly as salaries is far higher than what the state receives monthly as federal allocation.
He noted that his administration dugged deep to achieve landmark projects despite receiving less than N1.2 billion monthly after deductions as federal allocation.
According to the governor, “Salaries and pensions are achievements today.”
He noted that payment of salaries and pensions “are far more critical than any project” under the current circumstance.
“I can tell you Cross River ranks high in terms of payment of salaries and pensions.
“I met salary areas and I cleared that. And you think it’s not big news?”
He pointed out that, “Other states are owing far more but we are not.”
He added “I have dual carriage way, super high way, I have dual carriage roads constructions than any governor in the history of Cross River State.”
On the protest by street sweepers who staged violent protest to his office two weeks ago for not receiving their salaries, Ayade said, “I met street sweepers who were receiving N5000 a month. I increased their number and salaries.
“But when you pay the contractors they don’t pay them.”
He said he met salary liabilities to the street sweepers when he came in as governor but “we cleared them leaving only one month.”
He further pointed out that, “I increased what I pay to contractors in order for them to get more money.”
He lamented that the debt overhang on the state is eating away what should have been used to fund capital projects saying those debts were incurred before he took over in 2015.
He however said he has been consistent in paying salaries of civil servants adding that, “Civil servants in the state will tell you I have a very compassionate heart.
“In the history of cross River we had only three strikes,” he added.
He further stated that he never borrowed any money to fund any project in the state.